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Build Over or Build Near Agreements with South West Water

Obtaining a build over or build near agreement from South West Water or any other water authority typically involves specific processes and may require meeting certain criteria before any work can take place.

While we can provide some general information, it's important to note that the specific requirements may vary depending on the work being undertaken.  It's always best to consult directly with South West Water in the first instance to obtain accurate and up-to-date information.  These steps are as a guide only, and not to be taken as full fact.  But here are some of the steps to consider:


1.     Determine whether a Build Over/Build Near Agreement is necessary?  A build over agreement is typically required when you plan to build over or near water company assets such as sewer pipes or water mains.

2.     Reach out to South West Water to inquire about their specific requirements for a build over agreement.  Use can use this link for more information.

3.     Prepare and submit detailed information about your construction project, including plans, specifications, and the proposed location in relation to the water company’s assets.  This information will help South West Water assess the potential impact on their infrastructure. 

4.     South West Water will review your application and assess the potential risks and impact on their assets. They may request additional information, site visits and/or camera inspection to further evaluate the proposal.  They potentially may ask for a test/trial pit to be dug, to get dimensions or proximity from the house or build.  This allows them to see the ground conditions and condition of the underground pipe, and the material of the existing pipe.  This information is often unknown to the water company until it has been exposed, and these costs are usually in addition to the estimate that your builder is likely to have given you.  The review process may take some time, so it's important to plan ahead and allow for sufficient lead time. 

5.     If your application is approved, South West Water will issue a build over or build near agreement specifying the conditions, requirements, and any restrictions for carrying out the construction work near their assets.  Ensure you carefully review and comply with the conditions outlined in the agreement.  Pass these requirements onto your builder, so they can do the correct work and price accordingly.

6.     Once you have obtained the build over/build near agreement, you can proceed with your construction project, whilst adhering to the conditions your water company have set.  South West Water may wish to conduct inspections during and after the construction to ensure compliance and the safety of their assets. 

Notes – Please note your builder is not likely to know the condition of the ground below a build.  So most estimates are given with the basis, that ground conditions are standard.  If there is complications with the groundworks, most builders would need to adjust their estimates or add additional costs to the build on a case by case basis.  It’s also worth noting, that hold up outside of the builder’s control may incur extra charges.  It would always be worth discussing with your builder if you think this event is likely. Just remember, don't be put off building your dream property by a few hurdles. With the help of a good builder, any of these issues can be overcome. For example here at Novobuild SW Ltd, we provide our "Next Steps" booklet to give you the advise that you need to help overcome these building hurdles.

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